DeMint: Gays, Women Who Have Sex Unfit to Teach

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaks at the 2010 CPAC conference. Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/4392631687/">Gage Skidmore</a>

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It’s hard to detach some right-wingers’ concerns about gay rights or women’s rights from their concerns about extramarital sex in general. Witness the recent comments of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on whether gays, lesbians, and unmarried women should be allowed to teach kids:

Speaking to the “Greater Freedom Rally” on Saturday at a church in Spartanburg, SC, DeMint actually advocated for fewer basic freedoms for gays and unmarried women. According the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, DeMint “said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend—she shouldn’t be in the classroom.”

When this quote first came out, our Washington bureau chief, David Corn, emailed me to ask whether DeMint “really said this.” David couldn’t believe it—even of DeMint, perhaps the most conservative Senator in a very conservative GOP caucus. It’s really that shocking. There’s so much that’s awful about this, but I especially love how DeMint’s comments about restricting people’s freedom to apply for the jobs they want came at a “Greater Freedom Rally.”

Women’s groups and Dems are pushing hard on these comments, pointing out that DeMint has handed out campaign cash to conservative candidates across the country. DeMint’s comments are outrageous enough that they might encourage people who wouldn’t otherwise vote to get to the polls. They’ll also presumably help the DNC raise some money. But they probably won’t change many people’s votes—unmarried women, gays, and lesbians are already a pretty Democratic demographic. DeMint won’t really pay. The GOP will still have a great November, and he’ll still win overwhelmingly. What a jerk.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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